52 percent of biodiversity losses since 1970

These are the staggering figures the WWF published yesterday : ” Wildlife populations worldwide have declined by 52 per cent since 1970 “.

The famous organization gives us more details on the page dedicated to its Living Planet Report :

Wildlife in our rivers, lakes and wetlands has suffered a 76 per cent decline – an average loss almost double that seen in land and marine species populations. Land-based species populations declined by 39 per cent, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down.

Marine species populations declined by 39 percent. Species in decline include marine turtles, many sharks, and large migratory seabirds like the wandering albatross.

Wildlife populations are declining in tropical and temperate climates, but the biggest decline – 63 per cent since 1970 – has been seen in the tropics. Central and South America shows the most dramatic regional decline – a fall of 83 per cent.

Bloomberg gives a business perspective that might help some to better understand the situation :

If animals were stocks, the market would be crashing.

The chart below shows the performance of an index that tracks global animal populations over time, much like the S&P 500 tracks shares of the biggest U.S. companies. The Global Living Planet Index, updated today by the World Wildlife Foundation, tracks representative populations of 3,038 species of reptiles, birds, mammals, amphibians and fish.

To say the index of animals is underperforming humans is an understatement. More than half of the world’s vertebrates have disappeared between 1970 and 2010. (In the same period, the human population nearly doubled.) The chart starts at 1, which represents the planet’s level of vertebrate life as of 1970.

Please download and read the official report for more details.

Image credits : WWF

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